The Upholding Protections for Health and Online Location Data (UPHOLD) Privacy Act was introduced to the Senate. The legislation would prevent companies from profiting off of personally identifiable health data for advertising purposes.

It would also allow consumers greater access to and ownership over their personal health information, restrict companies’ ability to collect or use information about personal health without user consent and ban data brokers from selling location data. Recent reports have illustrated how social media companies are collecting and data brokers are selling location data that could be used to identify women seeking reproductive healthcare services.

The UPHOLD Privacy Act would:

  • Ban the use of personally identifiable health data collected from any source, including data from users, medical centers, wearable fitness trackers and web browsing histories, for commercial advertising. The restrictions would not apply to public health campaigns (e.g., college students for vaccinations);
  • Place additional data minimization and disclosure restrictions on companies’ use of personal health data without an individual user’s consent
  • Prohibit the sale of precise location data to and by data brokers.